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FL Teacher Has Boy Voted Out of Kindergarten

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Re: FL Teacher Has Boy Voted Out of Kindergarten

Postby Madison » Fri May 30, 2008 3:06 am

bigh0rt wrote:Mainstreaming is all the rage. And I can't say I'm against it. You toss this kid in a 'special school' now and he literally stands no chance at succeeding. Say what you will about schools designed to suit his needs, etc. etc. Bottom line is, you toss a 5 year old into a special school, he goes through his entire academic career in special schools, and he winds up contributing nothing as an adult because he is inadequately prepared. That is the harsh reality. I don't know what the mother claimed his special needs were, but trying to nip things in the bud, modify his behaviors, and keep him in a normal classroom setting increases the likelihood of success and him turning the corner.

Again, I don't know the full story, and I'll watch it tomorrow cause it's late now and I'm exhausted. But, I am certainly not for tossing 5 year olds into special schools, disabled or otherwise, unless it is something developmental to the point where they may be immobile (where there are specialists available to help get them mobile, if possible) or non-verbal (as public school staff are generally not certified sign language, and again, there are schools set up to meet these extreme needs). Keep in mind here that the ultimate goal, even with disabilities of this nature, is to get the child back into the mainstream. There are tons and tons of programs within the public school system designed to modify the school day to varying degrees for students who need it. He deserves the same education that is provided for students who aren't considered (either documented or parents' wacky accusations) disabled or special needs.


The mother said something about a form of autism.

Beats me as far as special schools go, but they seem to be popping up everywhere, along with stories about special needs children doing great things, so I thought they must be doing something right. Guess I'm misinformed there though, which is quite possible.

Question: Schools have taken the route of sending continued and repeat troublemakers to an alternative school for all of those troublemakers (at least in this area it's common practice). If "mainstream" is so important, then why is that a viable option as far as punishment goes? The reasoning behind it for the schools here is that the problems those children cause take time away from the other kids in the classroom and every minute of class time is very valuable. We've discussed how much stuff has to be squeezed into each school day as far as the cirriculum goes, and I've agreed that it's insane that so much ground has to be covered in such small amounts of time. So if a special needs child is taking away that same amount of time (or likely more), even though it's not by choice, at what point does the line have to be drawn in order for the rest of the class to get the "mainstream" education that is so very important? Why is it fair for the 16 kids in that class to get a substandard education because the teacher is too busy dealing with the special needs child?

There has to be a better alternative than giving 16 kids a substandard education simply because they were unlucky enough to have a special needs child in their class. :-?

EDIT: And don't misunderstand, I believe the special needs children deserve the same education as anyone else, but if he/she needs extra help due to those special needs, why aren't there any good schools out there for these kids (since you said those schools are bad)?
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Re: FL Teacher Has Boy Voted Out of Kindergarten

Postby Mookie4ever » Fri May 30, 2008 7:57 am

Madison wrote:
bigh0rt wrote:Mainstreaming is all the rage. And I can't say I'm against it. You toss this kid in a 'special school' now and he literally stands no chance at succeeding. Say what you will about schools designed to suit his needs, etc. etc. Bottom line is, you toss a 5 year old into a special school, he goes through his entire academic career in special schools, and he winds up contributing nothing as an adult because he is inadequately prepared. That is the harsh reality. I don't know what the mother claimed his special needs were, but trying to nip things in the bud, modify his behaviors, and keep him in a normal classroom setting increases the likelihood of success and him turning the corner.

Again, I don't know the full story, and I'll watch it tomorrow cause it's late now and I'm exhausted. But, I am certainly not for tossing 5 year olds into special schools, disabled or otherwise, unless it is something developmental to the point where they may be immobile (where there are specialists available to help get them mobile, if possible) or non-verbal (as public school staff are generally not certified sign language, and again, there are schools set up to meet these extreme needs). Keep in mind here that the ultimate goal, even with disabilities of this nature, is to get the child back into the mainstream. There are tons and tons of programs within the public school system designed to modify the school day to varying degrees for students who need it. He deserves the same education that is provided for students who aren't considered (either documented or parents' wacky accusations) disabled or special needs.


The mother said something about a form of autism.

Beats me as far as special schools go, but they seem to be popping up everywhere, along with stories about special needs children doing great things, so I thought they must be doing something right. Guess I'm misinformed there though, which is quite possible.

Question: Schools have taken the route of sending continued and repeat troublemakers to an alternative school for all of those troublemakers (at least in this area it's common practice). If "mainstream" is so important, then why is that a viable option as far as punishment goes? The reasoning behind it for the schools here is that the problems those children cause take time away from the other kids in the classroom and every minute of class time is very valuable. We've discussed how much stuff has to be squeezed into each school day as far as the cirriculum goes, and I've agreed that it's insane that so much ground has to be covered in such small amounts of time. So if a special needs child is taking away that same amount of time (or likely more), even though it's not by choice, at what point does the line have to be drawn in order for the rest of the class to get the "mainstream" education that is so very important? Why is it fair for the 16 kids in that class to get a substandard education because the teacher is too busy dealing with the special needs child?

There has to be a better alternative than giving 16 kids a substandard education simply because they were unlucky enough to have a special needs child in their class. :-?

EDIT: And don't misunderstand, I believe the special needs children deserve the same education as anyone else, but if he/she needs extra help due to those special needs, why aren't there any good schools out there for these kids (since you said those schools are bad)?



Very well said Hort. I've never liked segregated schools for any purpose. My mother was a special education teacher for over 20 years. This was a special class in a normal school. This was designed to assist with mainstreaming. The kids would come for special attention half the day or so but would still be in a normal class. One of her students later on went to my high school and attended all of the normal classes and everyone of them was able to avoid going to special needs schools and were able to live normal lives without being labelled "special".

These kids don't affect the education of the others and Mad's comment about 16 students getting a substandard education by having a special needs student in their class is misguided. If anything the advanced kids are much more of a disruption. They get bored with the standard curriculum or finish their work early and are always a disruption. Also how in the world do you hold back a kindergarten class? Was their fingerpainting disrupted?
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Re: FL Teacher Has Boy Voted Out of Kindergarten

Postby Madison » Fri May 30, 2008 2:53 pm

Mookie4ever wrote:Very well said Hort. I've never liked segregated schools for any purpose. My mother was a special education teacher for over 20 years. This was a special class in a normal school. This was designed to assist with mainstreaming. The kids would come for special attention half the day or so but would still be in a normal class. One of her students later on went to my high school and attended all of the normal classes and everyone of them was able to avoid going to special needs schools and were able to live normal lives without being labelled "special".

These kids don't affect the education of the others and Mad's comment about 16 students getting a substandard education by having a special needs student in their class is misguided. If anything the advanced kids are much more of a disruption. They get bored with the standard curriculum or finish their work early and are always a disruption. Also how in the world do you hold back a kindergarten class? Was their fingerpainting disrupted?


If they can go to the same school but be in a different class, then more power to them. ;-D Maybe that's the fix, I dunno, that's why I asked. ;-)

But I do disagree on the part about the student disrupting the class. That is true and it does happen. I just sat down with the vice principal of my son's school last week and she went on and on about how very important every single minute of class time is. Just taking the time to put a checkmark on a student's conduct sheet for whatever he did wrong (talking, playing, whatever) seemed to be some huge monster time problem. So there's no way I buy it for one second that a special needs child with a form of autism isn't taking away any classtime whatsoever (especially after watching the video). Plus every teacher I know has stressed how valuable every minute of every day is because they have to cram so much into so little time. Even H0rt will acknowledge that for you Mookie, if you don't believe me. I'm on the teacher's side of that particular debate, I think the cirriculum is silly, but it's all part of that dang "No Child Left Behind" crap they instituted.

As to it being kindergarten, I was talking more generally. I mean ok, it's kindergarten, so maybe that's no big deal there, but where does one draw the line? That's really the jist of what I'm trying to find out. Where is the line on too much disruption that the situation becomes unfair to the rest of the class? Is it multiple problems per day in kindergarten, or is it one problem in 5th grade? Where is the line? There's got to be one of course, as the rest of the class getting a substandard education due to one child draining class time isn't a fair or acceptable thing to allow. Wouldn't it be better to take a child in kindergarten and see if he can be taught well enough in a special needs class or special needs school so that he won't be a disruption in the future and can rejoin "mainstream", rather than let him be a disruption and then at some point at a later age (3rd grade? 4th?) take him out of regular class because he's draining too much time away from the other students?
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Re: FL Teacher Has Boy Voted Out of Kindergarten

Postby bigh0rt » Fri May 30, 2008 4:32 pm

Madison wrote:Beats me as far as special schools go, but they seem to be popping up everywhere, along with stories about special needs children doing great things, so I thought they must be doing something right. Guess I'm misinformed there though, which is quite possible.

It's relative. A child with downs syndrome purchasing an item at the supermarket, paying, and leaving successfully with little or no guidance is a massive success story. There may be some private, charter, or other schools that are geared towards disabled or special needs students achieving on a more general level; but I don't really know of them.

Madison wrote:Question: Schools have taken the route of sending continued and repeat troublemakers to an alternative school for all of those troublemakers (at least in this area it's common practice). If "mainstream" is so important, then why is that a viable option as far as punishment goes?

It's used as a last resort (albeit, not in all cases; but as with anything, there are corners that are cut from time to time, whether we agree with them or not). One student negatively affecting the rest of the class is definitely taken into consideration, and when it is determined that one student is too detrimental to a class, other accommodations or alternatives are explored. I've found that Alternative High Schools are more like a prison or JD center than an actual learning environment. I don't have an answer for it, but I know that it's no place I'd want to be, or wish upon anyone.

Madison wrote:We've discussed how much stuff has to be squeezed into each school day as far as the cirriculum goes, and I've agreed that it's insane that so much ground has to be covered in such small amounts of time. So if a special needs child is taking away that same amount of time (or likely more), even though it's not by choice, at what point does the line have to be drawn in order for the rest of the class to get the "mainstream" education that is so very important? Why is it fair for the 16 kids in that class to get a substandard education because the teacher is too busy dealing with the special needs child?

The alternative is not to necessarily to remove the child, but to add a class aide or 1:1 aide, which a lot of schools are actually willing to do, and in my experience, can be very successful. This allows the regular teacher to maintain standard class decorum with the special needs child getting extra attention from an additional certified adult in the room, who, when they aren't attending fully to their child, can actually help with the rest of the class as well.

Madison wrote:So there's no way I buy it for one second that a special needs child with a form of autism isn't taking away any classtime whatsoever (especially after watching the video). Plus every teacher I know has stressed how valuable every minute of every day is because they have to cram so much into so little time. Even H0rt will acknowledge that for you Mookie, if you don't believe me.

It's all relative. I work with teachers who bitch and moan from October on how behind they are, how they don't have time, this, that, and the other thing. My opinion is that they have been teaching long enough that they no longer prep the way they ought to, and that leads to them not using their time as wisely as they can/should. I manage to get through my entire curriculum, with plenty of time to spare before Finals/Regents Exams, so I can have additional review sessions, all while managing to reserve the last 5 - 10 minutes of a few classes a week to just talk to the students about whatever, be it a new movie that just came out, music, sports, their lives, or whatever. So, yes, time and the management of it in a classroom, is super important, and it's unfortunate that there are a lot of teachers out there who don't do it well. Though, I imagine in a kindergarten setting I may have trouble as well, as it's apples and oranges comparing it to what I do.

Madison wrote:Where is the line on too much disruption that the situation becomes unfair to the rest of the class? Is it multiple problems per day in kindergarten, or is it one problem in 5th grade? Where is the line?

I don't know how all districts do it, but my district work in teams. My team includes myself, and the Social Studies, Science, and English teacher in my team, along with all the class aides, social workers, and other counselors assigned to our students. We meet after school for 2 hours or so every Wednesday to discuss these things. Often, if a student is causing problems in my class, he/she's causing them in most/all of their other classes, as well. We assess a form of behavior modification to try and institute a plan for, and if that fails, other options are explored -- swapping them to a different team, moving them to another school, so on and so forth. I know that not all schools/districts operate this way, but there should definitely be a routine 'meeting of the minds' so to speak, to see if there are any red flags being waived, with respect to certain students.
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Re: FL Teacher Has Boy Voted Out of Kindergarten

Postby Madison » Fri May 30, 2008 5:18 pm

Thanks for the informative reply Hort! ;-D ;-D

This:

The alternative is not to necessarily to remove the child, but to add a class aide or 1:1 aide, which a lot of schools are actually willing to do, and in my experience, can be very successful. This allows the regular teacher to maintain standard class decorum with the special needs child getting extra attention from an additional certified adult in the room, who, when they aren't attending fully to their child, can actually help with the rest of the class as well.


Sounds like the perfect scenario. ;-D With teachers being underpaid and schools being underfunded, is it really something that can be done nationwide and become the norm though? I mean sure, some schools can afford it, but is it really something that can easily be done, or are we looking at a "dream" type of scenario?

Really asking. You're in the trenches and certainly have more knowledge than me on school stuff, I'm just a dumb parent :-D and don't get some of the inside scoop or knowledge you guys get. I've learned and shaped some of my behavior (like cutting my boy's school a little extra slack, being generally nicer, and having more patience with them) because of our talks. :-)
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Re: FL Teacher Has Boy Voted Out of Kindergarten

Postby bigh0rt » Fri May 30, 2008 5:32 pm

Madison wrote:Thanks for the informative reply Hort! ;-D ;-D

This:

The alternative is not to necessarily to remove the child, but to add a class aide or 1:1 aide, which a lot of schools are actually willing to do, and in my experience, can be very successful. This allows the regular teacher to maintain standard class decorum with the special needs child getting extra attention from an additional certified adult in the room, who, when they aren't attending fully to their child, can actually help with the rest of the class as well.


Sounds like the perfect scenario. ;-D With teachers being underpaid and schools being underfunded, is it really something that can be done nationwide and become the norm though? I mean sure, some schools can afford it, but is it really something that can easily be done, or are we looking at a "dream" type of scenario?

Really asking. You're in the trenches and certainly have more knowledge than me on school stuff, I'm just a dumb parent :-D and don't get some of the inside scoop or knowledge you guys get. I've learned and shaped some of my behavior (like cutting my boy's school a little extra slack, being generally nicer, and having more patience with them) because of our talks. :-)

It's a state-by-state, county-by-county, and even district-by-district issue. The district I'm currently in is great with support staff. There are several class and 1:1 aides who do fantastic jobs. Since their responsibilities, etc. pale in comparison to the teachers', their starting salaries are around $24,000, while teachers start at over $40,000 in my district. So, an argument is that a school can hire 2 support staff members for just over the price of a certified teacher (and it quickly becomes more economical to have the 2 support staff members, as their scale is much smaller than the teachers' is). So, if they have to add staff, a lot of them seem to be willing to go this route. Beyond that scope, though, I'm not sure how wide spread districts county, state, or nationwide are willing to do this.
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Re: FL Teacher Has Boy Voted Out of Kindergarten

Postby Madison » Fri May 30, 2008 6:35 pm

bigh0rt wrote:It's a state-by-state, county-by-county, and even district-by-district issue. The district I'm currently in is great with support staff. There are several class and 1:1 aides who do fantastic jobs. Since their responsibilities, etc. pale in comparison to the teachers', their starting salaries are around $24,000, while teachers start at over $40,000 in my district. So, an argument is that a school can hire 2 support staff members for just over the price of a certified teacher (and it quickly becomes more economical to have the 2 support staff members, as their scale is much smaller than the teachers' is). So, if they have to add staff, a lot of them seem to be willing to go this route. Beyond that scope, though, I'm not sure how wide spread districts county, state, or nationwide are willing to do this.


Sounds like a good district. I know tons of people who would kill to make $40K a year, and a household with 2 $40K earners would live quite well here. I believe the average household income in Texas is still under $60K. Sorry for the sidetrack :-b, anyway.....

Sounds smart, hire in 2 aides instead of one teacher to lessen the workload. Makes sense to go that route provided the school has enough certified teachers. Maybe your district should be a model for other districts to follow. ;-D
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Re: FL Teacher Has Boy Voted Out of Kindergarten

Postby bigh0rt » Fri May 30, 2008 8:50 pm

Madison wrote:
bigh0rt wrote:It's a state-by-state, county-by-county, and even district-by-district issue. The district I'm currently in is great with support staff. There are several class and 1:1 aides who do fantastic jobs. Since their responsibilities, etc. pale in comparison to the teachers', their starting salaries are around $24,000, while teachers start at over $40,000 in my district. So, an argument is that a school can hire 2 support staff members for just over the price of a certified teacher (and it quickly becomes more economical to have the 2 support staff members, as their scale is much smaller than the teachers' is). So, if they have to add staff, a lot of them seem to be willing to go this route. Beyond that scope, though, I'm not sure how wide spread districts county, state, or nationwide are willing to do this.


Sounds like a good district. I know tons of people who would kill to make $40K a year, and a household with 2 $40K earners would live quite well here. I believe the average household income in Texas is still under $60K. Sorry for the sidetrack :-b, anyway.....

Sounds smart, hire in 2 aides instead of one teacher to lessen the workload. Makes sense to go that route provided the school has enough certified teachers. Maybe your district should be a model for other districts to follow. ;-D

Well, there's definitely a reason I cross 2 counties to drive to work each day. Westchester is one of the most well funded, highest paying counties in all of New York (if not the highest), and Lakeland is probably middle of the road for districts in the county. There's a lot of good things going on, for sure, and I'd be interested to do some research into how other states differ from our own. I'll have to suggest that to my adviser for one of my Grad. School research papers.
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